KELVIN BROWNE is the Executive Director and CEO of the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. The Gardiner Museum is Canada’s national museum of ceramics, and one of the great specialty museums in the world.
Prior to joining the Gardiner Museum in November 2013, Kelvin held several positions at the Royal Ontario Museum – Canada’s largest museum of both culture and nature – beginning in 2004 when he became the Managing Director of the Institute of Contemporary Culture. Here he produced exhibitions and other programs connecting the museum’s collections with contemporary themes. Kelvin subsequently became the Vice President of Marketing, and then the Vice President of Marketing and Major Exhibitions where his portfolio included marketing, sales, public relations, membership, major exhibitions, and all aspect of design at the museum. During his last year at the ROM, he lead a re-branding project, the new word mark and positioning launched on the ROM’s 99th anniversary in 2013. Kelvin was also on the ROM’s Major Acquisitions Committee which annually purchased objects of international significance for the Museum.
Kelvin was born in Penticton, B.C. He subsequently attended St. John’s-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg (as a boarder.) He graduated from SJR in 1972, and from the University of Toronto in 1977 with a B.Arch degree. He then worked for architectural firms until returning to the University of Toronto where he earned an M.Arch degree in 1981.
For several years after this, Kelvin held various graphic design and marketing positions, most notably Vice President Marketing, CIBC World Markets (then CIBC Wood Gundy.) After leaving CIBC, and before joining the ROM, Kelvin worked as consultant and writer, becoming well-known for regular columns about business, design, and gardening in the Globe and Mail and National Post, and magazines such as House and Home, Toronto Life, Azure, Applied Arts, Saturday Night and International Architecture and Design. He’s written a book about the history of the architecture of the Royal Ontario Museum, Bold Visions, published in 2008.